Staying healthy through the holidays doesn’t have to be stressful! Instead of focusing on what you “can’t” or don’t want to eat, why not get excited about all of the yummy options you do have.

If you’re worried about what to take to a party or potluck – something that will keep you guilt-free, but that everyone will enjoy – simply take one of these fabulous sweet or savory holiday appetizers and you will enjoy success!

All of these delicious sauces, dips, and spread were given a two-thumbs up at our December “Healthy Lunch Group” luncheon, as well as a recent holiday potluck.

 

Caramel Apple Dip


This recipe is simple to make and Oh-So-Delicious! Whether you serve it with apple slices, as part of a fruit tray, or dolloped on top of plain Greek yogurt, it will quickly satisfy your sweet tooth without causing cravings for more. And the blood sugar spikes that you normally experience when you eat processed sugar? Gone!

(FYI - this recipe can also be found in the Plant Powered Families cookbook)


1/2 cup dates, pitted

1/3 cup hot water

1/4 tsp cinnamon

1/4 tsp nutmeg

scant 1/4 tsp sea salt

1/8 tsp allspice (optional)

1/2 tsp pure vanilla extract

1 Tbsp water (as needed)


    Instructions:

    Soak the dates in 1/3 cup hot water for at least 15 min.

    Place the dates (and soak water) in a blender.

    Add the spices, salt, and vanilla, and blend until smooth and creamy - adding 1 Tbsp water if needed to keep it blending.

Creamy Peanut Butter Fruit Dip


This yummy dip will be the star of the show when paired with bananas, apples, strawberries, grapes, or even celery, carrots, and raw sweet potato sticks! Try this with your kids for an after school snack. It will be gobbled up in no time.


12 oz plain Greek yogurt

heaping 1/2 cup peanut butter

1 tsp vanilla

1 Tbsp honey


    Simply blend all of the ingredients together in a food processor or blender.

Spicy Cashew Spread


"Oh, this is reeeaally good!" were the first words out of everybody's mouth (almost verbatim) when they tasted this savory, Spicy Cashew Spread for the first time. You would never know that it's dairy-free...and so versatile. Serve it with veggies, in wraps, on rice cakes, or to top roasted sweet potato rounds.

However you serve it, guaranteed it will quickly become a staple and a go-to for all your potlucks, parties, and even your family's any-time snack.


2 cups raw cashews, soaked in water for 4+ hours

1/4 cup water

1 Tbsp apple cider vinegar

1 1/2 Tbsp lemon juice

2 cloves garlic

1/2 a chipotle pepper (more if desired)

3/4 tsp sea salt


    Instructions:

    Drain and rinse the cashews.

    Place all of the ingredients in a blender and blend until smooth.

    Add water 1 Tbsp at a time as needed until you have a thick hummus-type consistency.

Cheezy Nacho Sauce


You will be amazed at how easy it is to make this creamy, deliciously cheesy, dairy-free sauce. The possibilities are endless! It can be poured on top of steamed broccoli, used as a dip for roasted veggies, included as part of a baked potato bar, or in a 7-layer dip. Make some today!


2 cups potatoes, steamed

3/4 cups carrots, steamed

1/2 cup nutritional yeast

1/4 cup sunflower seeds

1/2 Tbsp extra virgin olive oil

2 1/2 cups water

1 tablespoon lemon juice

1 1/2 teaspoon salt

1/8 tsp. garlic powder

1/8 tsp. onion powder


    Instructions:

    Put all of the ingredients in a high-powered blender.

    Blend on high until mixture is smooth and creamy.

    Serve immediately; refrigerate leftovers for 3-4 days.

In the comments, let me know which recipe you want to try first, and which one you love the most.

I’m excited to hear about all of your healthy successes as you continue to enjoy the holidays!

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